Articles on Virus

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What if it wasn’t back to the drawing board every year for a new flu shot? Andrew Kelly/Reuters

Influenza: The search for a universal vaccine

Flu virus mutates so quickly that one year's vaccine won't work on the next year's common strains. But a new way to create vaccines, called 'rational design,' might pave the way for more lasting solutions.
In us, on us and all around us. Microbes image via www.shutterstock.com.

Microbes: Our tiny, crucial allies

Long viewed simply as 'germs,' the hidden half of nature turns out to be crucial to the health of people and plants.
Do we contain the most elaborate set of instructions? Genome image via www.shutterstock.com.

How many genes does it take to make a person?

The answer – fewer than are in a banana – has implications for the study of human health and raises questions about what generates complexity anyway.
The outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil had Australian travellers on alert but transmission is only possible in tropical Queensland. Cameron Webb

Common Australian mosquitoes can’t spread Zika

New research shows common local mosquitoes aren’t able to spread Zika. This means Australia is unlikely to see a major outbreak of the disease. But a risk remains in northern Queensland.
Hex code from the Blaster worm reveals the potential motivations of the worm’s creator. Ward Moerman

Why save a computer virus?

How can archivists properly preserve computer programs often written specifically to destroy data?
The thing all five viruses have in common is they can cause mild to very severe liver damage. wk1003mike/Shutterstock

Explainer: the A, B, C, D and E of hepatitis

Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E are very different viruses. Hepatitis A is genetically closer to the common cold than it is to hepatitis B. Hepatitis C is closer to the virus that causes dengue fever.
Fumigation to prevent possible spread of the mosquito Aedes Aegypti in Sao Paulo. SEBASTIAO MOREIRA/EPA

Is the Zika panic over?

The number of new Zika-related microcephaly cases in Brazil is falling. But it's too early to relax.

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